Youth organisations urged to discuss land distribution

24 Sep 2013 11:00
OTJIWARONGO, 24 SEP (NAMPA) - National Youth Council (NYC) Board member Natangwe Iithete on Tuesday called on Namibian youth organisations to start holding meetings that will discuss land distribution in Namibia.
Iithete was reacting to the ongoing alleged illegal grazing and occupation of communal land in Tsumkwe West.
He told Nampa in an interview on Tuesday at the Otjiwarongo regional office that even though what is happening in Tsumkwe is illegal, it is happening because Namibians need land which they can call their own.
“Even though there is a willing buyer and willing seller policy, we all know the policy is not effective so far,” Iithete said.
It is alleged that some illegal farmers are in Tsumkwe West because they were forced to drive their animals there by the drought situation in their areas of origin - identified as the Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kavango and Omaheke Regions, and partly, the Otjozondjupa Region.
About 32 alleged illegal farmers in the Tsumkwe West communal area are expected to be served with eviction notices by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) before the end of this month.
NamPol’s Head of Operations, Commissioner Christoph Nakanyala told Nampa in an interview last week six detectives from the Khomas and Otjozondjupa Regions are busy issuing the eviction notices to those farmers who fenced off land in Tsumkwe West.
The police operation started last Monday (09 September), and ends on 20 September this year.
“We will see to it that all those identified as illegal occupants of Tsumkwe West communal land are served with eviction notices,” he stressed.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement completed its mapping activities of the entire Tsumkwe West communal area, and discovered more illegal fences than were initially thought to have been erected in the area.
The Otjozondjupa Regional Deputy Director in the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata told Nampa on 03 September that a team of nine mapping officers in that ministry returned from the area a few days earlier, where they discovered that another 26 000 hectares of land had been illegally fenced-off.
In July this year, a technical team of mapping officers first completed some mapping activities in the area of Omatako and Janju in the Tsumkwe area.
During that exercise, about 37 fences illegally erected by farmers were found in the Omatako and Janju areas, and the total area of communal land which was fenced-off at both places was 33 000 hectares.
Iithete said young Namibians should use different platforms to discuss land distribution and should also give lawmakers suggestions in this regard.
“The youths from the white community must also join these meetings when we start in order for all of us to deliberate and give appropriate suggestions to our leaders,” he indicated.
He also accused the alleged illegal farmers in Tsumkwe West of deliberately undermining the traditional authorities in that area.
“No matter how hungry we are for land, the country is founded on laws to acquire property. I suggest that the illegal farmers follow the right procedures,” Iithete noted.